Last Friday, on March 20, 2020, Jaimie and I got married. As expected, in a way. We had been planning on getting married on March 20 since late December. We just thought it was going to be the two of of us at the courthouse in Downtown Greenville. That was our plan. Yet there we were, at the end of the fifth floor of the St Francis Hospital, in the middle of a literal pandemic, surrounded by a room full of people we had known for less than a week.
I’ve been sitting here thinking about what to write about our wedding. About where to start. Then as I heard Jaimie walking up the stairs, it hit me that I should start probably start this blog series about our marriage with the only place it makes sense. I should start it with her.
Jaimie is the strongest person I know. This morning is example A. You see, I started this post from the comfort of our bed, while Jaimie was having her last breakfast with her dog and best friend of 13 years, Andy. She was walking up the stairs, returning from putting him to sleep. He had cancer. Because, of course he did. A heart condition or an allergic reaction would not have been quite as symbolic.
As Jaimie opened the door, what struck me is how much this amazing woman shows up for her life. The good, the bad, the difficult. It’s why we didn’t postpone our wedding. How could we have? We have lived so much life these past few years. In the face of everything, of treatments and successes and setbacks and job losses and moves and career highs and career lows and everything in between. Through it all she has shown up and said yes. She’s been my inspiration. If she can say yes to me and this life, then I can say yes to writing about it. To creating a show about it. To writing a book about it. We haven’t postponed. No matter how uncomfortable, because we know that anyone can get hit by a bus as any time. That nothing is promised. We have got to say yes to what is in front of us when it is in front of us. No matter how scary or off the wall it seems at the time.
Jaimie opened the door with tears in her eyes. My sister Valerie had taken her to the veterinarian so I could get ready for radiation. My mom stayed with my nephew so my sister could go back to work. My dad texted that he was on his way to take me to the doctor so Jaimie could rest.
I rubbed Jaimie’s legs and her back. It was small comfort, but it’s what I could give.
And now we’re sitting inside our warm apartment on a cold early spring day. The smell of grilled cheese and apples filling the house. And on the day we lost our dog, I am so grateful that she chooses to show up for me.